Every now and then you run into an artist who makes music that really speaks to you. These artists aren’t people you merely like or think they have a few hot songs. Artist like these are the ones you actively check for their new music and you search their sites for upcoming tour dates. You try to put other people on to them. The ones that make you truly become a fan.
One of those artist for me is Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper, real name Chancelor Bennet, has been around for a few years now, though he has still never hit the mainstream commercial market. Meaning he’s not the guy you hear on the radio all day long, but he has built an enormous following in just roughly 5 years.
His career really kicked off back in 2011, while he was still in high school, by releasing a track from his mixtape titled “10 Day.” The song titled “Windows” was met with high regard and this opened his world up to make some huge connections that would propel him into stardom. Soon after the release, he was featured in Complex magazine, Forbes magazine and was found featured on several larger artist’s projects.
One of those bigger artist was Childish Gambino. In July 2012 Chance landed a verse on Gambino’s “Royalty” mixtape. Seeing how talented Chance was, Gambino then asked him to join his tour as the opening act. This was really the perfect pairing of artist, because they have similar sounds and approaches to music. It’s really hard to call either one of them a pure rapper, but rather they are really more all around artist who just tend to express themselves vocally. Due to the fact that they share so many similarities, Childish Gambino’s fan base was a great match for Chance.
At this point a lot of artist fade off in the sunset. It’s just the reality of the music game; especially in today’s market with five rappers per every city street. However, everything prior to this point was only a stepping stone for Chance the Rapper and his biggest success was right around the corner.
In 2013 he released “Acid Rap” on the popular mixtape site DatPiff. To date, Acid Rap has been downloaded over 1 million times. This mixtape played more like an album with some high profile features from the likes of Twista, Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino and more. After getting high reviews by fans and critics, you can say this is the point where you could claim he had made it.
This is when I became a fan…. Ok not exactly.
So, I didn’t even hear this album till about a year or so after it was released. To be honest, at first I just wasn’t interested, but I just kept hearing his name. Everyone kept bringing it up. I had heard him on the Royalty mixtape, but Nipsey Hussles performance on “Black Royalty” just overshadowed everyone else’s verses for me. Still, I got tired of being the guy who didn’t know him and finally, around summer of 2014, I went and download the Acid Rap mixtape. The rest, as they say, is history.
Check out my favorite song off Acid Rap, “Juice.”
Acid rap is currently the last full “Chance The Rapper” project. He recently began releasing new music from what we assume will be his Junior release. Albeit we didn’t have an official Chance project, he did however make music in the meantime. In 2015 he played an integral role in another project, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment’s “Surf”. You can catch him wearing Social Experiment clothing all the time, like in the opening seen in the featured video.
“Surf” was released on iTunes in March, 2015 as a free project. The album itself is a fusion of trumpeter Nico Segal, known as Donnie Trumpet, and perfectly paired vocals from a variety of other artist.
Chance The Rapper played a huge part in the project, being featured on a lot of the songs as a vocalist as well as creating arrangements. The project was another huge success thanks to it’s various musical elements and universal appeal. Highly regarded as one of the best albums of 2015 and definitely in my top 5.
Throughout all of this, Chance has remained an independent artist and has refused several offers from major labels. He chooses to take the route less traveled and fair it on his own. So far Chance the Rapper has been doing an amazing job and I look forward to what is next to come from this talented artist.